France: What’s Next?
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France: What’s Next?
9th June 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
In April, after what was seen as the closest race thus far, Emmanuel Macron secured a historic victory and will remain the President of France for another five years. While Macron has managed to do something no other president has achieved – to win re-election while still being in charge of his own government – many challenges await him in the run up to the forthcoming National Assembly elections.
Notably, he is disliked by many and often labelled as ‘the president of the rich’, which was at least partially reflected in surprisingly low turnout – at just under 72%, which was the lowest turnout in a presidential run-off since 1969 in France. What does this mean for the National Assembly elections, and will we see cohabitation in France? Will Macron successfully fulfil his promise to ‘unite France’ or will he face a difficult term as President? And given that over 50% of voters in the first round backed candidates from the different political extremes, where does this leave social cohesion in France?
The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to gather a panel of experts to discuss these pressing issues.
Emiliano Grossman is Associate Professor of Politics at Sciences Po, working at the Centre D’études Européennes and the co-director of LIEPP’s “Evaluation of Democracy” Research Group.
His research focuses on comparative political institutions and agenda-setting processes. Currently he is working on the “cycles of attention” in politics and partisan strategies in a political context that increasingly constrains the autonomy of governments. He is also interested in the effects of media visibility on these processes. In addition, he coordinates the project “political agendas of France”, financed over several years by the National Research Agency (ANR), which aims to develop quantitative indicators of the evolution of political institutions in France.
He is in charge of the “Politics and Public Policy” stream at the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs (EAP). He teaches comparative politics in Paris and Introduction to Political Science at the Reims campus.
Christine Ockrent is a journalist and writer based in Paris. She writes regularly on French, European and international issues for various European publications.
A regular contributor to the BBC and other TV and radio networks, she anchors a weekly radio program on foreign affairs on France Culture public radio. She has published 16 books and essays and one of her latest is “The Pandemic and the Battle of Narratives”.
Christine is a former COO of the French Radio and TV World service (France 24 and RFI). She was also editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, L’Express.
Douglas A. Yates is an American political scientist residing in Paris. He specializes in African politics and the politics of the oil industry in Africa and is known for his development of rentier state theory. He has authored or co-authored several books on the subject.
Dr Yates was born in Hollywood, California. He earned his PhD in political science from Boston University in 1994 and moved to Paris in 1996. He has since written on neo-colonialism and the oil industry in Africa. He has authored or co-authored five books on the subject, including The Scramble for African Oil and The Rentier State in Africa.
Dr Yates has collaborated with the Africa Regional Services of the United States Department of State as a speaker in its democracy promotion programs, travelling various African countries on training missions for government electoral workers, press corps, and judicial officers. Yates is also a regular contributor on CNBC, France 24 and Al Jazeera.
He currently serves as a Professor of Anglo-American Law at the Cergy-Pontoise University and as a Professor of international relations and African politics at the American Graduate School in Paris.
Helena Ivanov is an Associate Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She recently completed a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on the relationship between propaganda and violence against civilians. In her thesis, Helena examined the role propaganda played during the Yugoslav Wars and produced a model for studying propaganda which details the key phases, functions, discourses, and techniques of propaganda (the model itself is applicable to other contexts). Additionally, Helena also served as a Manager at the Centre for International Studies at the LSE.
Prior to her PhD, Helena completed an MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford, and holds a BA in Politics from the University of Belgrade.
The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to hold a panel discussion on French elections and what their results may mean for the future of the country. Dr Helena Ivanov began the discussion by introducing the speakers and the topic of the conversation. Professor Emiliano Grossman spoke about the main challenges faced by Macron for the upcoming parliamentary election, by emphasizing the President’s efforts to be relevant to the population’s topics of interest. Christine Ockrent discussed the consequences of the election for the French political landscape by analysing the erosion of the historically central institutions through democratic fatigue and political fracture. Dr Douglas A. Yates provided a review and analysis of Macron’s main opponents, explaining the influence of Zemmour, Mélenchon, and Le Pen in the current French and future politics. The panellists discussed the design and relevance of the 5th Republic and the impact of the parliamentary election both on immigration and on UK’s future in Europe.